Columns Information is every child’s right – HS distributes children’s newspapers to all primary schools today

Today is Children’s Rights Day. In honor of it, Helsingin Sanomat will deliver more than 200,000 Children’s News newspapers to schools today and Friday.

Today is Children’s Rights Day. In honor of it, Helsingin Sanomat will deliver children’s news today to all children’s primary schools in Finland, to more than 2,000 schools.

Information is the right of every child. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child includes the promotion of children’s freedom of expression and the role of the media and literature in the cultural and social development of children. By distributing the children’s own newspaper to all primary schools, we also want to promote children’s reading and reading.

This year, the theme of the Children’s Rights Week is the future, and literacy is relevant to the future of Finnish children. Therefore, the decline in children’s reading has been a concern in recent years in studies, homes, schools and public debate.

In the results of the Pisa comparison published a year ago, the literacy gap between Finnish children had widened, and there were already almost as many weak readers as there were excellent readers. The difference in literacy between girls and boys was the largest in OECD countries, and one-fifth of boys already had poor literacy.

Literacy plays a key role in school success and thus in future opportunities. Studies show that school success can be supported by encouraging leisure reading. Indeed, many homes and schools have invented good ways in which reading has awakened and persisted so that reading has become a daily habit.

We launched a weekly children’s newsletter for primary school children in August. To date, almost 20,000 subscriptions to the magazine have been sold, and more than 80 percent of Finnish municipalities have subscribers. The creation of the children’s own newspaper was motivated by a desire to work for children’s reading.

HS News has been on the HS for almost five years, both as part of the magazine and in the form of all available, free news broadcasts. These years have shown that children have a huge thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand society and the world around them.

This the autumn has been great from the point of view of children’s access to information. In addition to HS Children’s News, Hufvudstadsbladet also launched its own Swedish-language children’s newspaper, and Yle started its own children’s news business. Apu Juniori has also been doing journalism for children for several years.

Aku Anka and Koululainen have a long history as children’s own magazines and supporters of reading.

It is probably no coincidence that journalism aimed at children in the Finnish media field has increased this year. The background has been the desire in various media houses to promote children’s reading and to work to ensure that children receive fact-based and comprehensive information as well as different views to support their thinking. During the Coronavirus Year, the importance of children receiving reliable information in an understandable form has been further emphasized. The corona epidemic swept the children’s daily lives quickly, and there were many questions.

The guiding idea in HS Children’s News has always been that no news topic is such that it could not or should not be told to children in an age-appropriate way. From a children’s perspective, the world is full of questions and developments that preoccupy and often affect children in one way or another. Even fears can be captured and dispelled by sharing information that makes things understandable and integrates them into wholes.

The role of journalism for children is also to promote children’s empowerment and the inclusion of their opinions in society. Teach them that everyone’s own views and actions matter.

This in the children’s rights day is for the first time also an established flagging day. In Finland, we can also draw tickets in honor of the fact that the country is one of the best for children.

Like HS, Aku Ankka is part of Sanoma.

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